reefs magazine


Editor's Note - 2016-1

I have long held to an educational philosophy that teachers teach best when they can teach what they are passionate about, and in my professional life, I spend much time helping craft programs and curricula that allow faculty to do just that. It is a philosophy that has worked well, and one that I carry over into my job as Editor of Reefs Magazine. Rather than assign subject matter, I seek out the best writers I can find and allow them to write about the things that excite them. If you look back over the 8 yrs. worth of material we have produced, you will find a wide range of subject matter for hobbyists and reef enthusiasts of all levels. Sometimes, however, author submissions align and cluster around common areas of interest and by some quirk of the Fates, this is one of those times. Our staff has coined this the ‘Fishue’ as all the articles in one way or another are piscine-centric.

In our feature, Macropharyngodon: A Tale of Throated Teeth, Lemon TeaYK explores the taxonomy, biogeography and physiology of the very popular and alluring Leopard Wrasses, a genus that includes some of my personal favorite fish. Further taxonomic exploits are joined by Joe Rowlett as he examines the “Velvet Angelfishes” of Chaetodontoplus –many of the true holy grails of the angelfish keeping world. Our species focus is completed by Todd Gardner who continues his seminal documentation of the fishes of New York, this time exploring the Jacks of the Carangid family. Ret Talbot reports on important trade news as he introduces us to a groundbreaking new agreement between the the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the New England Aquarium to implement the game changing data collection methodologies developed by Dr. Andrew Rhyne that will, for the first time, give an accurate picture of the collection and export of marine ornamental fishes from a major source country. A sustainable hobby requires good data to support it and now we will finally have some.

We also present two articles that focus on fish behavior. Richard Aspinall takes us underwater to examine some of the strategies of deception, mimicry and subterfuge that fish employ to literally hide in plain sight and Austin Lefevre offers some very important and practical advice for socially acclimating fishes to aquariums. Following these recommendations can really go a long way towards minimizing stress and saving lives.

Finally, for those of you with a literary bent, our Fish Tales piece from writer and critic Adrian Shirk is a beautiful historical memoir and coming of age story surrounding the mysterious disappearance of some prized Oregon Sturgeon. Not exactly a reef fish, but a fascinating read none-the-less.

I’m tempted to close with some tortured schooling fish joke, but I’ll refrain and simply wish you happy reading and happy reefing.